Guatemala Finca La Bolsa Natural



Recommended for:

  • Aeropress

  • Espresso

  • French Press

  • Stove Top

View the brew guide


Finca La Bolsa was bought by Jorge Vides, a distinguished medical professional, in 1958. It achieved fame in specialty circles for placing in the country’s Cup of Excellence competition achieving 2nd place in 2002.

We have had the pleasure of visiting this magical farm twice now with Ollie and James spending some time there earlier in the year. You can read more about their visit here for an entertaining and informative review by none other than our very own James Fairweather (production roaster) who shares his thoughts on his first origin trip.

Key Stats

Location: La Libertad, Huehuetenango, Western HighlandsAltitude: 1,500 to 1,600 metres above sea levelPreparation: NaturalVarietal: Bourbon, CaturraOwners: Renardo VidesFlavours: Black Grape | Raspberry | Milk Chocolate


La Bolsa means ‘handbag’ and was named so as it is nestled between two mountains, which provide a very stable, humid microclimate. This combined with the limestone rich soils give the coffee trees all they require to produce cups of great quality with the perfect balance of acidity and body. The farm is Rainforest Alliance certified and has a school and nursery on site with fully trained, full time teachers. All of the temporary and permanent staff have access to schooling for their children, and they are incentivised to leave their children at school or nursery through food donations. When a child attends school or nursery for 5 consecutive days they receive a weekly supply of rice, beans and corn. We were struck with the approach enforced by the farm owners here who are the driving force behind the farm even though they are well into their eighties!

As a result there are no children working on the farm, and the school and nursery classes are full. Accommodation is provided for both permanent and temporary workers, with separate facilities for men and women. Sections of the farm are also reserved areas to promote biodiversity, reduce exposure to winds and soil erosion. This lot has been processed using the natural method which means the cherries were handpicked when ripe, sorted and then dried using the farm’s own parabolic dry mill for between 12 and 20 days before being stored for export. Through this process, the beans ferment in their own environment absorbing sugars and enzymatic by-products from the coffee cherry which add real complexity and tropical funk to the resulting cup. It is a unique flavour that is at its best when brewed as espresso or using immersion filter methods such as the French Press. It will take a little milk becoming sweet and creamy in profile – this year we are finding syrupy notes of black grape and raspberry with undertones of milk chocolate.

Brew Guides


Grind Setting: Medium (slighter finer than for a Pour Over)Brew Time: 2 minutes 30 seconds - 3 minutesCoffee:Water 16-17g : 250ml
View the full brew guide


Grind Setting: Very FineBrew Time: 27-29 secondsDose:Brewed Weight 18g : 36-40g
View the full brew guide

French Press

Grind Setting: CoarseBrew Time: 3 minutesCoffee:Water 14g : 250ml
View the full brew guide

Stove Top

Grind Setting: Fine (slightly coarser than for espresso, finer than an Aeropress)Brew Time: Dependent on size and heating sourceCoffee:Water 22g : 250ml (though dependent on size of Stove Top)
View the full brew guide

Delivery Details

We are happy to say we are now able to dispatch orders on a daily basis from Monday to Friday. If your order is received before midnight, it should go out to you the next day using the Royal Mail First Class or DPD next day courier service depending on the weight of the parcel. If you place an order over the weekend, it will be packed and dispatched when the Roastery re-opens on a Monday.

If you have selected the Local Pickup option, this will be available the next day from our Roastery premises in Armley and this site is strictly staffed between Mon-Fri from 9am-5pm. Unfortunately we cannot deliver your order to a local customer for you to collect from.

Once you have placed your order, you will receive an email to confirm it is being processed and then another one to let you know when it has been dispatched/is ready to collect.

Collection Address: Unit 10, 280 Tong Road, LS12 3BG



  1. Paul

    First purchased bean from North Star………. it did NOT disappoint. So rounded but punchy with sweet acidity. Recommended 5*

  2. David J

    Made as espresso.
    Love this bean – very approachable. Warm and smooth at the front, then a lovely sweet alcohol note at the finish.
    Makes a fabulous piccolo

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